I’m always looking for new ways to keep our home organized and clean, while still visually appealing and livable. While I would live in an all-white, mirrored haven if I could, Christian is always reminding me that our home should be comfortable and lived-in (and on the inside I know he’s right athough it pains me to admit).

SO, today I’m teaming up with Seven Daughters Wine to share 7 ways we combine design and function in our house.


1. Ottoman Storage

I love this ottoman (I snagged it for $25 on Craigslist) not only because it has clean lines and is comfortable (we almost always have our feet propped up whenever we’re sitting down), but also because it has this great secret storage.

We move it around often, so I don’t want to load it with books or anything heavy, but it’s perfect for extra blankets. And is there anything better in life than curling up with a blanket and a cold class of Chardonnay, propping your feet up and watching the Real Housewives?

The answer is no, no there is nothing better.


2. Baskets

I’m all about some baskets. On the floor for magazines, on bookshelves to store items that aren’t display-worthy, in the bathroom to hold magazines, extra toilet paper, you name it. I have purchased baskets from Home Goods, Ikea and even Goodwill – and I love them each for their different style and design.

I love this basket (on sale) and I’ve almost bought this one like, 10x.


3. Chalkboard

My mom actually made this tall chalkboard for me in college with leftover wood and a little chalk paint (although this could be another great, inexpensive option), and I’ve been using it in every house I’ve lived in since. I love that it looks cute but I can also use to send strong messages to Christian. Like… “please organize the stacks of paper on the breakfast table by Wednesday or consequences shall follow.”

A different kind of “honey do” list.

diy bulletin board

4. Pin-up Board / Bulletin Board

My mom also painted this white frame in college and strung wire across the back. We use it to clip up pictures, cards, concert tickets and other mementos, similar to a bulletin board.

It always seems to be a focal point when guest visit our house, and I love that some of my favorite pictures hang there. This is a really great similar option for those who don’t feel like trying to make their own (no shame in that!).

acrylic serving tray mirrored tray acrylic serving tray

5. Trays (Acrylic | Mirrored)

In the same way I am a cat lady (and dog lady), I am a tray lady. I love trays. Painted, acrylic, antique, mirrored, any way you serve ‘em. I find them pretty to sit on a dresser or coffee table, and I will also move them around to keep things fresh.

I like to serve snacks or appetizers on trays, display jewelry on them, stack candles in them, etc.

apothocary jars ikea vittsjo shelving

6. Apothecary Jars

I’ve had these large apothecary jars for years and we use them to collect matchbooks, wine corks (I’m adding to the collection by drinking wine as often as possible… because I must contribute to the décor #duh) and bottle caps. I think they look so pretty while actually being usable storage.

I’ve also seen people fill them with lemons and limes, pinecones, soaps, shells, candy – there are so many ways to style them! I love this one and these.

seven daughters chardonnay styling kitchen shelves pelligrino

7. Kitchen Shelving

This metal shelving piece used to be on our patio when we were living in 850 square feet and we were trying to make it work (it did not work). When we moved to a larger home, I wanted to put it in the kitchen for the appliances we have that I wanted to display.

Christian thought I was a little cray, but was willing to let me give it a shot. I love it. I love that I can see some of my favorite (and often used) appliances and kitchen items without having them clutter my counter space.

carrie bradshaw lied


Those are my functional décor tips – do you have any that work for you? I’d love to hear – we’re always looking to streamline our space in a pretty and effective way!

Thanks so much for reading – XO

26 Comments|See Comments

26 thoughts on “7 Functional Decor Tips

  1. I love your house! You have done such a great job with the space. I love all the personal touches, like your mom’s art and homemade chalk board!

    1. Thank you so much sweet Emilie!! I don’t know what I would do without my mom’s help – her DIY skills are MUCH better than mine! XO

    1. I’ve been there! In our last place that was smaller, having a chest for an ottoman was crucial because we desperately needed the storage. Totes get it!

  2. It’s important to have every space in your home as beautiful and functional as it can be. I purchased a kitchen island from Ikea and repurposed it as a folding table in my laundry room. There is a bottom shelf for sorting baskets and a metal bar for hanging . It’s a simple piece that gives the room a finished look. Thanks for sharing your tips Kathleen
    xo HIP
    Hand In Pocket

  3. Kathleen – Love how you’ve decorated your home! So cute, bright, and airy. Would you mind sharing where your couch is from? Ten years later, it’s finally time to trash my bulky college one!
    Thanks and Hotty Toddy!

    1. Of course! This is an Ikea Ektorp sofa we snagged off of Craigslist when we first moved to OC. I have two slipcovers – the beking white (100% cotton) and the stenasa white (linen blend). This photo is showing the stenasa white! We have actually been working on another sofa that is en route, and this one will be moved upstairs! I hope that helps!

  4. Since you’re clearly so good at organizational/purposeful decor, question- any good ideas for dog food storage? I’m moving and trying to come up with a less heinous way to store it than a clear Tupperware (my old method). Your house looks great, thanks for sharing!

    1. Oh my gosh this is a GREAT question! We keep Bailey’s dog food in the garage, but I’ve seen two great options – one (and this may sound cray) but an actual trash can with a sealed lid – even if it means the bag of food sits in the trash, you just don’t have to see it as much. The other option is a laundry basket type of basket with a lid. Same thing – just placing the bag in the laundry basket and closing the lid. Then the food won’t get stale + it doesn’t look like tupperware. I hope that helps a little!

  5. I LOVE this post! Creative storage options in apartment living is key, but sometimes so hard to keep stylish! LOVE IT!

  6. I’m moving into my first solo apartment in a few weeks and bought a similar shelving unit for my kitchen. Can’t wait to style it and use yours as inspiration!! Your house couldn’t be any cuter!

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